For an organisation dedicated to growing the EU market for sustainably sourced tropical timber, the Sustainable Tropical Timber Coalition’s (STTC) conference this year got to the heart of the issue.
The title of the event in Aarhus, Denmark, Sustainably sourced tropical timber: Selling a positive story, was the core theme being promotion and marketing.
To tackle the topic, speakers came not only from across the EU timber sector, but also from NGOs and marketing agencies, with a keynote delivered by brands expert and marketeer Nigel Hollis, Executive Vice President of international consultancy Kantar Millward Brown.
Setting the scene, the conference began with tour of sustainable tropical timber applications across the host city.
The 110-strong international audience also heard presentations about STTC-backed marketing and promotion-centred Action Plans for developing and diversifying the European sustainable tropical timber market and encouraging sustainable procurement programmes.
Mr Hollis highlighted the importance of confidence and differentiation in marketing. He also focused on the substance behind the message, stating that in any promotional campaign “great content is more than a great advertisement”.
Delegates were given a still broader perspective on sustainable tropical timber issues in 30-minute table talk sessions, with themes ranging from using Sustainable Development Goals in tropical timber sales and promotion, to the importance of market intelligence in boosting sustainably sourced timber demand. In addition they were challenged to come up with marketing themes.
The Conference closed with a call from STTC founder and backer IDH for ideas on the Coalition’s development as its funding programme in its current form finishes end 2018. A poll of delegates backed the STTC’s continuation.